TIVO Upgraded; More Stuff I’ll Never Find Time to Watch

I just finished upgrading my TIVO. (Whoohoo! 🙂 It’s previous, default storage capacity was 9-30 hours, depending on the stored image quality. I can now record 40-150 hours after adding additional storage to the system. I added a 100Gb drive, 134$ at Fry’s, which brought the total capacity to 130Gb. All previously recorded programs and settings were retained after the upgrade.

It took from about 6pm till midnight, but that included burning a bootable cd required for the cause, installing a floppy that turned out to be unnecessary, disassembling the most physically accessible computer so the various bits of magic could be performed on the disks, and general overhead like that. The original drive was backed up to another drive, using the unix “dd” command, as recommended by the TIVO hackers FAQ.

So, for those interested in doing something similar, it goes something like this. Read the FAQ. Buy a new drive (or 2 if you don’t have a spare drive to use to backup the original TIVO drive).

Then, install both the original TIVO drive and the backup drive into a suitable computer. Next, boot from the linux-based TIVO toolkit cd and then backup the original drive, using dd.

After that, remove both drives. Store the backup safely. The original drive will be reinstalled shortly.

Once again, boot from the TIVO toolkit cd, and do a BlessTivo of the new disk, which you installed before booting from the cd.

Remove the new drive, and install both the new drive and the original drive into the TIVO case, and that’s it!

Of course, if your urge to hack isn’t yet satisfied, you can always add an ethernet card to your TIVO. One of the reasons for adding an ethernet card is that the TIVO is a linux-based device, and shell access to the system is much more convenient via the LAN vs. using a serial terminal(scroll down to step 12).